Vocation Ministry Press Kit
The Story of Vocation Ministry
Vocation Ministry inadvertently began in 2011 at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Houston, TX with a simple ask by a parish priest and a simple yes by a faithful laywoman. “Our newly ordained parochial vicar, Fr. Victor Perez, asked me to come to a meeting about priests,” recalled Rhonda Gruenewald, founder of Vocation Ministry. “Fr. Victor had been tasked with reviving the parish vocation committee that had been dormant for more than five years.” Being a convert to the Church, Rhonda did not know what he was talking about. “Vocations, in the Catholic context, was foreign to me,” said Rhonda. “But after hearing Fr. Victor’s enthusiasm for everything vocation-related, I became hooked and took over as leader of the newly-found Vocation Ministry.”
To request an interview with Rhonda Gruenwald contact [email protected]
Meet the Founder, Rhonda Gruenewald
Rhonda Gruenewald, a full-time wife and mother of two teenagers, converted to the faith thanks to her husband of 19 years, David. Prior to volunteering in the field of vocations, she graduated from the University of Texas in Austin and taught English, speech, and debate at a public high school for 6 years. Rhonda converted to Catholicism in 1999 and became active in parish life at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Houston, Texas.
Vocation Ministry has worked with more than 6,000 vocation promotors and ministries nationwide with that number increasing each year. “The demand is there,” says Rhonda. “People everywhere are passionate about increasing and nurturing vocations. I see it all over the country. This passion stems not only from a desire to foster more healthy vocations, but truly from people’s love for Christ and his Church. The Church of tomorrow already exists – we just have to begin to awaken it!”
Rhonda wrote Hundredfold: A Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry and its accompanying resource book and developed the website VocationMinistry.com to provide information, activities, and inspiration for anyone seeking to establish or revive a vocation ministry.
Rhonda continues to present workshops to parishioners, deacons, priests and religious to teach them how to do this important work at parishes all over the United States and Canada. Rhonda also shares the message of Vocation Ministry with priests at convocations.
Suggested Interview Questions
- What can you tell us about the reality of the state of vocations in the Church today?
- What prompted you to start Vocation Ministry?
- What is there about a parish-based vocation ministry that’s so important to fostering vocations?
- Some parishes, DREs and pastors might say they are so busy and overwhelmed that they cannot take on another initiative. What would you say about this?
- Can you give an example of a diocese or parish that has had success by working with Vocation Ministry?
What People Are Saying About Vocation Ministry
“It is in the family where the seeds of a vocation are first developed and it is in our parish communities where vocations to serve God are encouraged. Every parish has a responsibility to cultivate a culture of vocations to the priesthood, religious life, and sacramental marriage. Thank you to Vocation Ministry for providing resources for parishes so that we all can answer God’s call."
“Without our Catholic parishes instilling a deep appreciation of religious and priestly vocations, young people may not hear this divine invitation. Good vocations flourish in good families – and good families flourish in good parishes. Thank you, Rhonda, for the inspiration of Hundredfold!"
“Vocation Ministry offered effective workshops to our priests and deacons, inspiring them to invite over 220 lay people from parishes and schools across the diocese to her follow-up workshop for laity, where she trained them how to begin and sustain parish vocation ministries. As Vocations Director, I am very aware that the work of promoting vocations is the work of the whole Church and is too big a job for any one person or group of people. I now have a whole army of people across the diocese who are sustaining our work in prayer, actively finding ways to promote a culture of vocations in their local communities, and enthusiastic in getting the message about our vocation efforts and events out to our young people."